Category: sex

6 in 10 of America’s Single Guys’ Take Responsibility’ for Contraception

6 in 10 of America’s Single Guys’ Take Responsibility’ for Contraception

From the HealthDay Reporter

About six in 10 sexually active single men in the United States are taking responsibility for birth control, government health officials say.

When they have sex, these unmarried males are using a condom (45 percent), vasectomy, “withdrawal,” or a combination, according to a new report released Thursday from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

For the study, the researchers surveyed about 3,700 unmarried and sexually active men, aged 15 to 44.

The researchers found that use of any male birth control method rose from about 52 percent in 2002 to more than 59 percent by 2011-2015.

Male-method contraception was highest (75 percent) among men who had never married, followed by formerly married men (55 percent) and men currently living with their partner (36 percent), said study lead author Kimberly Daniels.

Daniels is a statistician with the CDC’s National Center for Health Statistics (NCHS).

The proportion of guys relying on condoms or vasectomy hasn’t changed since 2002, but use of withdrawal before ejaculation has, Daniels said.

Reliance on pulling out nearly doubled, rising from about 10 percent in 2002 to nearly 19 percent in 2011-2015, the study found.

Asked whether the CDC considers withdrawal a reliable form of contraception, Daniels said it is among the rubric of male methods. Yet as a family-planning tool, the CDC ranks withdrawal relatively poorly, more or less on par with condom use, and far below the effectiveness of the birth control pill for women.

Dr. J. Dennis Fortenberry, chief of adolescent medicine at Indiana University School of Medicine, said a “variety of things likely contribute to relatively high levels of [male contraceptive] use.”

Among them, he said, are comprehensive sex education programs, increased emphasis on communication with sexual partners, emphasis on men’s responsibility for contraception, and access to reproductive health services through means such as the Affordable Care Act (also known as Obamacare).

“The data speak against any return to abstinence-only education for younger men, or creation of access barriers to sexual and reproductive health for all people,” Fortenberry added.


Risky behaviour and porn fuelling rise of STDs among teens?

Risky behaviour and porn fuelling rise of STDs among teens?

Risky behaviour and porn fuelling rise of STDs among teens?

Middle-class children typically view porn by the age of 12 and engage in their first sexual activity the following year, according to a study.

It found that the younger they began viewing sexually explicit images, the earlier they went on to engage in sexual activity.

Young women who regularly watched more porn than average were more likely to have higher numbers of sexual partners.

The research was carried out mainly on middle-class students from the University of Buckingham. A total of 42 women and 31 men aged 18 to 25 answered a questionnaire on their porn-viewing habits and sexual behaviour in the previous six months.

The study found that on average, those who had started viewing sexual imagery from the age of 12 onwards had their first sexual encounters the following year.

Sexually risky behaviour – including having multiple sexual partners and sex at a young age – is thought to be fuelling a rise in sexually transmitted diseases among teenagers and young adults aged 15 to 24.

The material used in the study included films, TV or pictures depicting actual or simulated pornographic scenes or nudity, as well as explicit adverts and music videos. Sexual activity was defined as including kissing and foreplay but stopping short of intercourse.

The youngest a respondent reported first looking at pornography was six.

The researchers said the age at which participants were first exposed to sexually explicit material predicted how likely they were to engage in sexual behaviour at a younger age for both men and women.

While women who actively sought out pornography had higher numbers of sexual partners, those who viewed sex scenes incidentally – such as in a TV show, film or music video – were not found to be more prone to risky sexual behaviour such as engaging in one-night stands or not using contraception.

Full intercourse happened on average by the age of 16 in the sample, although one respondent reported first having sex at 13.

As adults, the respondents had on average 12 sexual partners, with the highest number reported being 60. One respondent admitted having 48 one-night stands.

Watching porn frequently was not found to lead to a higher number of sexual partners for adult men.

The authors said that the age at exposure was a more significant factor than the quantity viewed in adulthood.

Elysia Walker and Dr Emily Doe, from the University of Buckingham, presented their findings yesterday at the annual conference of the British Psychological Society’s Division of Health Psychology.

Miss Walker said “this was a very middle-class sample”, adding that further research was necessary to see whether there was a similar link in different social classes.


What happens to your penis when you get an erection?

What happens to your penis when you get an erection?

Men get an erection in response to stimuli such as – touch, sight, smell or when other senses are at the peak of excitement, usually just before having an intercourse.

During an erection, there is maximum blood flow in the penis that helps a man to attain an erection and maintain it to achieve sexual satisfaction while having intercourse.

However, there are a lot of things that happen in the body before an erection is achieved. To know how it happens, know what the penis comprises of: The longest part of the penis is called the shaft and the head of the penis that is at the end of the shaft is called glans. The opening at the tip of the head from where urine and semen are expelled is called meatus. Inside the penis, there are two columns of tissues called corpus cavernosum that run on the sides along the length of the penis and houses a network of blood vessels and nerves. Corpus spongiosum is another sponge like tissue column with a maze of blood vessels and nerves that runs along the front part of the penis ending at the glans, covering the urethra, which runs through it.

Thereare two main arteries in the corpus cavernosum along with a network of veins. The arteries pump blood to the organ and veins take the blood out of it. The brain sends signals through a network of nerves which helps the penis to get an erection in response to a stimulus.

A stimulus could be either a physical or a mental trigger. So, when a man gets aroused following stimulation, the brain sends signals that make the arteries in the penis open fully. There is more blood entering the arteries and corpus cavernosum. The blood enters at a faster rate than it can exit through the veins. The veins then are compressed and pressure is build-up in the corpus cavernosum. This expands the penis and helps it to maintain and hold an erection. When a man reaches climax, the brain stops to send signals and the inflow of blood to the arteries stop, the veins open and the penis goes back to its flaccid state.

In case, if there is no erection even after a man is aroused or gets an urge to have intercourse the problems could be either physiological or psychological for which it is better to seek medical attention.

Image source: Shutterstock


Symptoms, causes, treatment and prevention of Genital Warts

Symptoms, causes, treatment and prevention of Genital Warts

Good news is, the genital warts often go away with time but the bad news is, there is no treatment that can eradicate HPV infection.

Appearing as a kind of lesion that is flesh colored and feels like soft bumps, according to medical practitioners, genital warts are caused by certain strains of Human PapillomaVirus (HPV). Unknown to many sexually active people, HPV remains the most prevalent sexually transmitted infection.

While condom use may decrease the risk of HPV transmission during sexual activity it does not completely prevent HPV infection. Although not as serious as other sexually transmitted diseases, genital warts are especially dangerous for women because some types of the HPV can cause cancer of the cervix and vulva.

Typically found in the areas around the penis, anus, scrotum, vagina or vulva, they are difficult to diagnose as they hardly cause pain and are extremely small.


Genital warts and HPV infection are transmitted primarily by sexual intimacy and the risk of infection increases as the number of sexual partner’s increases.

According to studies, there are more than 100 types of HPV that specifically affect the genitals. Of these, more than 40 types can infect the genital tract and anus (anogenital tract) of men and women causing genital lesions known as condylomata acuminata or venereal warts.

A subgroup of the HPVs that infect the anogenital tract can lead to precancerous changes in the uterine cervix and cervical cancer. HPV infection is also associated with the development of other anogenital cancers. The HPV types that cause cervical cancer have also been linked with both anal and penile cancer in men as well as a subgroup of head and neck cancers in both women and men.

The most common HPV types that infect the anogenital tract are HPV types 6, 11, 16 and 18 (HPV-6, HPV-11, HPV-16, and HPV-18). Although other HPV types can also cause infection. Among these, HPV-6 and HPV-11 are most commonly associated with benign lesions such as genital warts are termed as ‘low-risk’ HPV types. In contrast, HPV-16 and HPV-18 are the types found most commonly in cervical and anogenital cancers as well as severe dysplasia of the cervix. These belong to the so-called ‘high-risk’ group of HPVs. Other HPV types infect the skin and cause common warts elsewhere on the body. Some types of HPVs such as HPV 5 and 8, frequently cause skin cancers in people who have a condition known as epidermodysplasia verruciformis (EV).


These fleshy bumps that have a corrugated cauliflower like appearance in many cases do not cause any symptoms and sometimes go unnoticed due to their varying size.

They are associated with itching, burning, vaginal discharge, bleeding or tenderness. If they become enlarged they can be very uncomfortable and even painful.

It is also worth noting that genital warts may also appear on the lips, mouth, tongue or throat of a person who has had oral sexual contact with an infected person.


Good news is, the genital warts often go away with time but the bad news is, there is no treatment that can eradicate HPV infection. To relieve painful symptoms or minimize their size, your doctor can prescribe any of the following over the counter medication. Imiquimod (Aldara), podophyllin and podofilox (Condylox) and trichloroacetic acid (TCA). If visible warts do not go away with time surgery may be the next best option to remove them. This can be done through electrocautery or burning warts with electric currents, cryosurgery or freezing wartslaser treatments, excision or cutting off warts or through an interferon injection.


The sure way to avoid contracting genital warts is through abstinence. Another way although controversial due to the negative side effects and ingredients used in making it, a vaccine by the name Gardasil is available against common HPV types associated with the development of genital warts, cervical and anogenital carcinomas


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The most Googled questions about contraception answered

The most Googled questions about contraception answered

Contraception is a tricky one.

It shouldn’t be, given that it’s 2017 and the pill was first introduced in 1961 (only to married women, mind you) but despite school sex education, our own experiences and conversations with our mums and friends, plenty of women and girls still feel completely overwhelmed and confused when it comes to contraception.

There are actually 15 different methods of contraception available to women in the UK. A lot of women tend to go on the pill hassle-free but, for others, it’s not always the best option. The pill can cause a range of side effects which may not suit everyone, plus there’s that small major detail of remembering to take it every day. Given its popularity, and the assumption that it is the norm, other methods of contraception which might be more suitable for others can get side-lined. But where are we supposed to start when there are 15 choices?

As we have been raised in the era of technology, more often than not we turn to Google for life advice. And apparently there’s no difference when it comes to sexual health.

We asked Google Trends the top ten questions entered into the search engine when it comes to contraception and, with help from the Family Planning Association – who provide sexual health and contraception advice – we got the answers.

1. What is contraception?

Essentially, methods and devices which stop you from getting pregnant when you have sex. They range from permanent and long-term methods, like the pill, to those which you need to physically use during sex, like condoms.

Some are known in the health service as long-acting reversible contraception (LARCs) and include methods that don’t rely on a person having to remember to take or use them to be effective; like the implant, injection and coil.

2. How does the contraceptive pill work?

How the pill works can be confusing because there are two types of contraceptive pill: The combined pill and the progestogen-only pill.

The combined is the first option doctors usually go for and mainly works by stopping the ovaries from releasing an egg each month aka ovulating. No egg, no baby.

It also thickens the mucus from your cervix, making it more difficult for a sperm to swim through, reach an egg and fertilise it. As another step in mission no pregnancy, the pill makes the lining of the uterus thinner so the uterus is less likely to accept a fertilised egg.

The Progestogen-only pill, also known as the mini pill or POP, varies. All of them thicken the amount of mucus in the cervix and make the lining of the uterus thinner but one group called desogestrel POPs, like Cerazett, also stop the ovary releasing an egg in the same way the combined pill does.

3. Which contraception is best for me?

Everyone is different; what works for your best friend might not work for you. Finding the right contraception may take time and can be a case of trial and error.

Karin O’Sullivan, a sexual health nurse and clinical lead at the FPA, broke down what might and might not work for certain people.

“If you really hate needles, then the injection’s probably not the way to go, and if you’re pretty forgetful then something you have to remember to take every day – like the pill – might not be your safest bet,” she said. “On the other hand, if you have very heavy periods then the combined pill can help reduce them, and if you’ve had difficulty with a variety of hormonal methods then you might want to use the extremely effective IUD, also known as the copper coil.”

There might also be medical reasons which make you less suitable for certain types of contraception so it’s always best to discuss with a doctor.

The FPA have a very handy ‘My Contraception Tool’ on their website which can also provide guidance on the right contraception for you.

4. Is contraception free?

Yep, absolutely. It’s one of the only prescriptions that’s completely free.

5. How effective is the pill?

So you’re taking measures to stop becoming pregnant, but you jussssstttt want to really, really make sure it means no pregnancy.

Both the combined and mini pill are 99 per cent effective BUT that’s as long as they’re taken according to instructions.


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